Young designer Ditiro Mashigo wins over Soweto Gospel Choir

Fashion designer Ditiro Mashigo, in yellow, was announced as the new designer for the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir.
Fashion designer Ditiro Mashigo, in yellow, was announced as the new designer for the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir.
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

An emerging designer from Pretoria was revealed yesterday by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new designer for the Grammy Award-winning gospel group Soweto Gospel Choir.

Ditiro Mashigo was announced during a function hosted by the president together with minister Nathi Mthethwa at the Market Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg, to honour the choir after winning its third Grammy Award last month.

The young designer emerged as a promising talent through the Design Indaba ranks.

Mashigo, who graduated in 2016, told Sowetan she wanted to create a feel that will speak to the SA aesthetic - a fusion of animal, landscape and spirituality.

"I can't explain how I feel about it because it is an experience, it is not a feeling. It is a call to action. It is amazing because it will expose my designs to the whole world," she said.

Mashigo's feat meant will inspire South African designers to create and export more work and that people will start believing again in what local can do, she said .

In his address, Ramaphosa praised the Soweto Gospel Choir for flying the South African flag high and taking the status of the country to another level.

He said for the group to get a Grammy nomination and a win was extraordinary.

"It is a pleasure and real joy to be standing in front of real heroes of our nation. People who have gone out into the world and showcased what South Africa is all about and came back having scooped their third Grammy award. You really made us proud."

Ramaphosa further praised the group for being the finest and colourful exports. "You are the most dynamic and outstanding group. Your music inspires people and cuts across the boundaries of race."

Co-founder Beverley Bryer said: "I had tears in my eyes, it was quite amazing for the choir to be honoured by the president and the minister of arts and culture.

"It is very special for us. It is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives. For me, I have seen the choir evolve from the start. It is just amazing."

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